Highlands School 2021 commencement exercises were held outside on the track again this year, but without masks or social distancing, on Saturday, May 22 at 10 a.m.
Highlands Assistant Principal Sarah Holbrooks said it’s important to honor graduates for reaching this milestone in their lives.
“Students, parents, and teachers work hard in the years building up to this important milestone in a student’s life,” said Holbrooks. “Families invest and pour into their children for 13 years, and this is a special time that we can all celebrate the hard work and dedication that gets a child to this transitional time of high school to the next journey of life. Families and friends look forward to celebrating this grand milestone. Educators take pride in the role they played in getting that child to graduation day.”
Calab Bowers presented the Invocation and the Benediction. Salutatorian Maddie Drummonds welcomed graduates and their families and friends.
Principal Brian Jetter remarked on the class and gave each student an “elbow bump” upon receiving their diplomas.
The Commencement Address was delivered by High School Math Teacher Brian Aulisio.
Holbrooks, Macon County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin, Media Specialist Terry Stamey, and MC Board of Education Member Hilary Wilkes helped award the 29 graduates their diplomas.
The Farewell Address was delivered by Valedictorian Jordan Carrier. This year’s Junior Marshals, Jeffrey Olvera Lopez and Taylor Rickert assisted as needed.
“It was a beautiful ceremony and I thought it went wonderful,” she said. “Our speaker, Brian Aulisio, brought a powerful message to our graduates and their families. The weather was beautiful, and I felt that spirits were lifted.”
Holbrooks added that throughout all the uncertainty of the school year, it ended on a positive note.
“After a crazy year, it was nice to feel the warm sun on our faces on this important day,” said Holbrooks. “This group of students will do great things! We had no way of knowing if a graduation would even be possible a few months ago, so this was a pleasant way to end a ‘pandemic school year’.
This year’s mascots were 1st graders Valerie Olvera Lopez and Jase Raby.
The Friday prior to graduation, May 21, seniors drove through town for the annual car parade making their last stand as Highlands School students.
Highlands Class of 2021:
Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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